Heartland Bike Share (HBS) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that exists for the development, promotion and operation of bike sharing programs throughout the Heartland region. It is for the benefit of the general public, aimed at promoting health and quality of life as well as mitigating climate change and promoting the use of sustainable and equitable forms of transportation.
Commuters are using bike share programs to stay connected during a global pandemic. HBS is the product of independent contractors who brought bike sharing to the city in 2011. HBS shifted gears in 2016 as a nonprofit and now operates three bike share programs: Heartland B-cycle, BikeLNK and Valentine Bike Share. Our equipment and systems are all provided and purchased from BCycle, a nationwide bike sharing vendor.
We value advocating for safe micro-mobility, equitable access to bike sharing and car-free opportunities within our partnerships. Heartland B-cycle has had a large demand for e-bikes; the spike in interest overwhelmed our technicians with repairs and inventory. We noticed more trips were taken in 2019 and our busiest month had nearly 4,000 more trips taken than the year before. This has only increased since the beginning of the pandemic.
In all of the uncertainties, one thing we knew for certain was that we had inequitable barriers for riders being able to access bike sharing. Through our Equity Program we teamed up with several community nonprofits and organizations to intercede financially. We dispersed free annual and monthly memberships to healthcare workers and the communities we serve. We currently offer 55+ and student discounts and corporate rates for businesses. We are delighted to provide resources for their transportation or wellness programs.
recreation during a global pandemic. Our call to action for you is to encourage others to join us in bike sharing. Businesses can invest in our corporate rates/employee wellness program memberships. We appreciate donations to our SHARE Omaha page during Giving Tuesday, which is November 30th this year. If you already have a membership, donate one to someone. Thanks for keeping the gears moving as we pedal forward to overall wellness.
Heartland Bike Share Community Manager
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Published October 25th, 2021